2 Samuel 2:4
Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, "It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul."
David Anointed King of JudahB. Dale 2 Samuel 2:4
Divine GuidanceB. Dale 2 Samuel 2:1-4
Strength and WeaknessH. E. Stone.2 Samuel 2:1-32
David's Reign At HebronW. G. Blaikie, M. A.2 Samuel 2:3-4
Fresh AnointingF. B. Meyer, B. A.2 Samuel 2:3-4
CommendationB. Dale 2 Samuel 2:4-7

2 Samuel 2:4. - (HEBRON.)
Course of events:

1. David's message to the men of Jabesh (vers. 5-7).

2. Ishbosheth made King of Israel by Abner (vers. 8-11).

3. Civil war, and the death of Asahel (vers. 12-32).

4. Increasing strength of the house of David (2 Samuel 3:1-5).

5. Dissension between Ishbosheth and Abner.

6. Abner's negotiations with David, restoration of Michal, communication with the tribes, and formal league (2 Samuel 3:12-21).

7. Abner slain by Joab (2 Samuel 3:22-28).

8. Lamented by David (2 Samuel 3:31-39).

9. Ishbosheth murdered (2 Samuel 4:1-8)

10. His assassins executed (2 Samuel 4:9-12). It was a great day in Hebron. The ancient city among the hills of Judah (where the remains of the patriarchs had slumbered for centuries) was stirred by the assembling of the elders for the coronation of David. His presence among them, at the head of his six hundred heroes, had been virtually a "public assertion of his claims to sovereignty" on the ground of his Divine consecration by Samuel. His first anointing was essentially of a private nature. "This second one, performed by the elders of Judah, was his public solemn installation (based on that anointment) into the royal office." Then followed the acclamation of the people (1 Samuel 10:24; 1 Samuel 11:15). "Now doth David find the comfort that his extremity sought in the Lord his God; now are the clouds for a time passed over, and the sun breaks forth; David shall reign after his sufferings" (Hall). It has been supposed that he wrote about this time Psalm 27. (inscription, "Before the anointing," LXX.).

"Jehovah is my Light and my Salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
Jehovah is the Strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?" It is not likely that David's muse went to sleep when the death of Saul at Gilboa opened his way to the throne, or that it produced nothing but such comparatively secular songs as the lament for Saul and Jonathan. It is rather remarkable, however, that there is not a single psalm of which one can affirm with confidence that it was written during the seven years and a half that David reigned at Hebron over the tribe of Judah (Binnie). Those who took part in his inauguration acted in fulfilment, not only of the Divine purpose concerning him, but also of the Divine predictions concerning themselves; for the pre-eminence of Judah had been long foretold (Genesis 49:8). "In all great questions the men of Judah are the foremost and the strongest. From the time of David's establishment on the throne, the greatness of the tribe follows in some measure that of his family (1 Chronicles 5:2; 38:4)" (Davison). "And as they had the right to choose their own prince, they might reasonably have expected that the other tribes would have followed their example, and, by uniting in David, have quietly submitted to the appointment of God, as they themselves had done" (Chandler). In their conduct we see -

I. AN EXALTED ESTIMATE OF HIS PERSONAL WORTH. One of themselves (Deuteronomy 17:15), "chosen out of the people" (Psalm 89:19), he could understand and sympathize with them. He possessed eminent military abilities and noble moral qualities; and he had rendered invaluable services to his country, and shown special kindness to the elders of his own tribe (1 Samuel 30:26). His previous career was well known to them, and had won their confidence and affection. The character of a people is commonly manifested in that of its chosen ruler. As Saul embodied and reflected the prevailing spirit of Benjamin and Ephraim, so David embodied and reflected what was best in Judah; its independent spirit, lion-like courage, and religious devotion.

II. LOYAL ACCEPTANCE OF HIS DIVINE APPOINTMENT. With that appointment they were familiar. They recognized Jehovah as their King; the Source of authority and of the endowments which were needful for the kingly office. Their condition isolated them in feeling, to some extent, from the other tribes (as afterwards more fully appears); but in acting independently of them they rebelled against no existing and legitimate authority, and they neither aimed at dominion over them nor separation from them. They displayed a truly theocratic spirit. And, in the election of a ruler, a people should always recognize the authority and obey the will of God. "Kings derive their kingly majesty immediately from God, but also mediately from their subjects" (J. Lange).

III. VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION TO HIS ROYAL AUTHORITY. He was to them "a minister of God." Their obedience to God required their submission to the king of his choice; whose authority, however, great as it was, was not absolute. It is not said, as on a subsequent occasion (ch. 5:3), that "he made a league with them;" but they doubtless submitted to him on the understanding that he would rule according to the Divine will. The efficiency of a ruler depends upon the free submission of his people; and there is not a nobler exercise of freedom than submission to the highest order.

IV. UNBOUNDED CONFIDENCE IN HIS BENEFICENT RULE. They expected, under the government of "the man worthy of the sceptre," deliverance from their enemies, by whom they were now threatened; the establishment of justice, from the want of which they had long suffered; and the attainment of power and prosperity. Nor were they disappointed. The pre-eminence of this tribe was ordained with reference to the advent and exaltation of Christ, the promised Shiloh, "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Revelation 5:5); and the conduct of the men of Judah may be taken as illustrating the free acceptance of "him whom God hath anointed with his Holy Spirit" on the part of his people; their humble obedience to his rule, and their fervent desire for his universal reign. "Thou art worthy."

"Come, then, and, added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine
By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth;
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since,

And overpaid its value with thy blood.
Thy saints proclaim thee King; and in their hearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
Dipped in the fountain of eternal love."

(Cowper.) D

They came to Hebron at break of day.
Joab and his men walking all night towards Hebron, and reaching it at break of day. See in this a symbol of the pilgrimage of our earthly life, in what must be as darkness compared with the wondrous light to which we press, but reaching rest at last, yet not till the break of that golden day.

I. ARE WE PILGRIMS OF THE LIGHT, OR OF THE NIGHT? Of both. Of the light as we press to reach it, as even now its beams fall on our pathway here, enlightening much that else might perplex. Yet must that light only make the remaining darkness felt. Is it not of the New Jerusalem that it is written, "There shall be no night there?" Can I say there is no night here — no night of sorrow, no pain, no burden clouding heart and mind? Even when life is brightest with us, the very sense of comfort and joy abides because we know that they have about them a heavenly atmosphere. They are to us God's gifts, and we know that He has in reserve still richer blessings. If we are in sorrow we yearn for God, and in joy we rest still in Him. There is always something before the Christian, a brighter life that is to be. We speak of the night of death. Henry Fawcett used to say that from the great illness which prostrated him for so long, he arose, having learnt, what he had recognised before, that death was not to be feared. Nay, more than this, for we need not speak only of the physical aspects of death: we may learn that in death there is not so much a passing into dark valleys — the valleys of the shadow, at all events, are past when death is reached — as a stepping into wondrous light. Death is an unveiling which lets in light and life to our poor human experience. Let us press on in the pilgrimage, though we walk all the night. There is the appointed path and the allotted time. To few will that time, in God's mercy, seem too long, so full is the night of quiet mercies, so little are we alone. But even if the way seem rough, and the hours dark, the night has its own appointed law and limit. Bear up, press on, and all shall be well.

II. THE PILGRIM SHALL REACH A PLACE OF REST. "And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron." Hebron is one of the most ancient cities of the world still standing. It is now a city of some 5,000 inhabitants. It has had many changes in its political history, and has once and again been in ruins. Abraham is called by the Mohammedans Khulil, "the Friend" — i.e., of God; and this, we are told by travellers, is the modern name of Hebron itself. It is "the city of 'the Friend of God.'" Among our quiet resting-places God not seldom brings us to the places from which we can look back, marking the goodness and mercy which have followed us since that long past when near to the same spot we built with them some altar to the Lord. The Lord accepted the offering of ourselves; through the pilgrimage He has been with us.

III. For notice, lastly, THE REST SHALL BE REACHED AT ITS APPOINTED TIME. "And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day." The eternal morning shall not be missed by any who follow on in the way of the Lord's choosing. Only be brave, be faithful, until the day break, and the shadows flee away. Often the shadows of some trouble or some anxiety pass away even here. New light is on our path; the way of lowly duty is plain. Whenever the day-break is upon us, it is only that we may turn, refreshed by rest, to the duty of the new day.

(J. Gasquoine, B. A.).

Abigail, Abishai, Abner, Ahinoam, Asahel, Asherites, Ashurites, Asshurites, Benjamin, Benjaminites, Benjamites, David, Gibeon, Ishbosheth, Jabesh, Jezreel, Jezreelitess, Jizreelitess, Joab, Nabal, Ner, Saul, Zeruiah
Ammah, Arabah, Bethlehem, Carmel, Giah, Gibeon, Gilead, Hebron, Helkath-hazzurim, Jabesh-gilead, Jezreel, Jordan River, Mahanaim
Anoint, Anointed, Body, Buried, David, Declare, Gilead, Hebron, Holy, Jabesh, Jabeshgilead, Jabesh-gilead, Ja'besh-gil'ead, Judah, Oil, Resting-place, Saul, Saul's, Saying
1. David, by God's direction, with his company goes up to Hebron
4. where he is made king of Judah
5. He commends them of Jabesh Gilead for their king of Israel
8. Abner makes Ishbosheth king of Israel
12. A mortal skirmish between twelve of Abner's and twelve of Joab's men.
18. Asahel is slain
25. At Abner's motion, Joab sounds a retreat
32. Asahel's burial

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 2:4

     2230   Messiah, coming of
     5087   David, reign of

2 Samuel 2:1-4

     5366   king
     8131   guidance, results

The Bright Dawn of a Reign
'And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And He said, Unto Hebron. 2. So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, Nabal's wife, the Carmelite. 3. And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4. And the men of Judah came, and there
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The King.
We have now to turn and see the sudden change of fortune which lifted the exile to a throne. The heavy cloud which had brooded so long over the doomed king broke in lightning crash on the disastrous field of Gilboa. Where is there a sadder and more solemn story of the fate of a soul which makes shipwreck "of faith and of a good conscience," than that awful page which tells how, godless, wretched, mad with despair and measureless pride, he flung himself on his bloody sword, and died a suicide's death,
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

This Affection the Martyrs of Christ Contending for the Truth did Overcome...
10. This affection the Martyrs of Christ contending for the truth did overcome: and it is no marvel that they despised that whereof they should, when death was overpast, have no feeling, when they could not by those tortures, which while alive they did feel, be overcome. God was able, no doubt, (even as He permitted not the lion when it had slain the Prophet, to touch his body further, and of a slayer made it to be a keeper): He was able, I say, to have kept the slain bodies of His own from the dogs
St. Augustine—On Care to Be Had for the Dead.

The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Syria: the part played by it in the ancient world--Babylon and the first Chaldaean empire--The dominion of the Hyksos: Ahmosis. Some countries seem destined from their origin to become the battle-fields of the contending nations which environ them. Into such regions, and to their cost, neighbouring peoples come from century to century to settle their quarrels and bring to an issue the questions of supremacy which disturb their little corner of the world. The nations around are eager for the possession
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 4

How the Meek and the Passionate are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 17.) Differently to be admonished are the meek and the passionate. For sometimes the meek, when they are in authority, suffer from the torpor of sloth, which is a kindred disposition, and as it were placed hard by. And for the most part from the laxity of too great gentleness they soften the force of strictness beyond need. But on the other hand the passionate, in that they are swept on into frenzy of mind by the impulse of anger, break up the calm of quietness, and so throw into
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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